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ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s Office has informed the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that it does not interfere with the sensitive day-to-day working of the intelligence agencies, and keeps an arm’s length as far as the relationship is concerned.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, on Monday, submitted his reply in the petition moved by former chief justice Saqib Nisar’s son Mian Najamus Saqib regarding audio leaks. He has challenged a Special Committee constituted by speaker National Assembly to audit, inquire into, and investigate audio leaks involving him.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Babar Sattar, who had been hearing Najam’s petition, in the last hearing asked the Federation and other respondents to submit statements regarding the matter.

The principal secretary submitted that the investigation for Fair Trial Act, 2013, provides a legal framework for investigation and collection of evidence by means of modern techniques and devices to prevent and effectively deal with scheduled offences and to regulate the powers of law enforcement and intelligence agencies and for matters connected therewith or ancillary thereto.

The reply added that the Fair Trial Act, 2013, has been enacted being mindful of the fact that the existing laws neither comprehensively provide for nor specifically regulate advance and modern investigative techniques such as covert surveillance and human intelligence, property interference, wiretapping, and communication interception that are to ensure fair trial.

It further said that Section 5 of the Telegraph Act, 1885, also empowers the federal government, provincial government or any officer specially authorised by the federal/provincial government to take possession of licensed telegraphs and to order interception of messages.

It continued the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), 2016, is also aimed at preventing unauthorised acts with respect to information systems and to provide a mechanism for related offences as well as the procedure for investigation, prosecution, trial and international cooperation with respect thereof and matters connected therewith or ancillary thereto.

It maintained that Section 20 of PECA delineates the relevant offences regarding the content that harms the reputation or privacy of a natural person under the said Section, the aggrieved person may approach the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Parvez Nov 07, 2023 03:59pm
PMO is correct.....it works the other way around.
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